Six American and four British universities occupy the top ten spots in the QS World University Rankings for 2013-14, with first place going to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for the second year running.
The rankings are compiled by the educational consultancy firm QS Quacquarelli Symonds, and are accredited by the IREG International Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence. Alongside the overall rankings, there are rankings by faculty and subject, and classifications that distinguish between universities of different sizes, ages and degrees of specialization. The views of graduate employers are also taken into account.
Harvard, which held the top spot for six years, is at second place, while Stanford, Yale and Chicago take positions seven to ten. The British institutions of Cambridge, University College London (UCL), Imperial College London, and Oxford take third to sixth place inclusive, while the top institution less than fifty years old, and 34th overall, is the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).
Noting the overall stability of the rankings, QS founder and director Nunzio Quacquarelli was quoted as saying that this "will be good news for the countless students across the world who rely on them to narrow down their choices."
Two other Hong Kong institutions feature in the top forty: the
University of Hong Kong, at 26th, and the Chinese University of Hong
Kong, at 39th. However, HKUST has been deposed as the highest ranking
institutional in Asia in favor of the National University of
Singapore. QS's analytical supplement to the survey explains that Hong
Kong has been at a temporary disadvantage due to a "double cohort" of
students, but that in Asia in general there is "little sign of the
wholesale advance predicted by many commentators." In particular,
Japan is described as experiencing "genteel decline." Further,
although Hong Kong outperforms Mainland China in the overall ranking,
Peking and Tsignhua do better in a survey of employers.
The top forty overall also includes three Australian universities: Australian National University is at 27th, Melbourne at 31st, and Sydney at 38th.
QS formerly collaborated with Times Higher Education in compiling the rankings, but since 2010 the two organizations have produced rival lists.
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